Moving to Wilmington

Welcome to a journey of discovery, beginning with exploring the possibility of relocating to the charming city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Nestled between the Cape Fear river and the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington is a hidden gem with timeless allure, vibrant culture, and booming opportunities. This guide promises a comprehensive insight into every aspect of Wilmington's lifestyle - a sea change in the literal sense. So, whether you are drawn by the historic downtown, the beautiful beaches, or the burgeoning job market, let us delve deeper to shed light on what life could look like in this captivating Southern belle.

Moving to Wilmington, NC landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Wilmington

1. Colossal Coastal Climate

Don't forget to pack your sunscreen; this city lives for long beach days and outdoor adventures! Wilmington, affectionately known as "Wilmywood," has a subtropical climate that blesses locals with mild winters, hot summers, and room to revel in the beach year-long. Seamless transitions from spring to summer laconically canvas the cityscape with roses and dogwoods bursting to life almost all at once. Rain boots might be handy too; storm watchers can relish in the dramatic lightning storms that often adorn the city's summer skies.

2. The Wilmywood Influence

Event driven Hollywood buffs, brace yourselves! You might find yourself in the end frame of a Hollywood movie during your grocery shopping or a casual cafe visit. Wilmington is dubbed as "Hollywood East" and has played backdrop to notable television shows and films like "One Tree Hill", "Dawson's Creek", and "Iron Man 3" to name a few. Take a stroll around the city and spot the famous filming locations or visit EUE/Screen Gems Studios for a full-on Hollywood experience!

3. Wilmington's Historic Downtown

Dive deep into the annals of history as you traverse the historically rich downtown district. One of the city's most unique features is this impeccably preserved historical district that spans over 230-plus blocks, featuring stunning Victorian-style architecture and period-era homes. Do visit Wilmington's spirited Riverwalk, an acclaimed mile-long boardwalk along Cape Fear River, brimming with shops, restaurants, and striking views.

4. Wilmington's Sumptuous Seafood

Your taste buds are in for a seafood extravaganza! Owing to the city's coastal location, it hosts an abundance of seafood joints that serve dishes to die for. Melt-in-your-mouth crab cakes, succulent oysters, clam chowder and brilliantly done blackened mahi-mahi are just the tip of the iceberg. Pro Tip: Don't forget to try the "Carolina Style" dishes, a phenomenon unique to Wilmington where BBQ and seafood make a heavenly culinary union.

5. Film Festivals Galore

Wilmington's cultural scene is underrated. It's a feast for film enthusiasts as the city hosts not one, but two renowned film festivals annually. The Cucalorus festival is instrumental in boosting independent films, while the NC Black Film Festival showcases works by African American filmmakers. They offer a mecca for movie buffs and an atypical detail of life in Wilmington.

6. Azalea Festival: A Feast for the Eyes

Last but not least in our list, brace yourself for a surreal floral extravagance as the city celebrates the annually held Azalea Festival. This vibrant rendezvous embraces the arrival of spring, showcasing blossoming azaleas in the city's opulent gardens. Also enjoy the pageantry, concerts, and local art scene that abound during the festival season. It's the secret Wilmington experience that will form lasting memories!

To conclude, caught between the River and the Sea, Wilmington is a delightful blend of Southern charm and city adventuring, promising a lifestyle that sways between the serene and the exciting. No matter where you pivot, canopied streets, a pulsating cultural scene, impressive gastronomy, and its share of silver-screen fame welcome you warmly in Wilmington!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Wilmington

Pros of Living in Wilmington

Access to Beautiful Beaches

Wilmington offers access to some of North Carolina's most beautiful beaches, such as Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach. These places offer a great way to escape the summer heat, engage in water-based activities, or simply enjoy a relaxing day out.

Rich in History and Culture

The city has a rich history and a thriving arts scene. The historic downtown area is a testament to this, with its well-preserved 19th-century architecture and the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. It also hosts various cultural events throughout the year.

Several Higher Education Institutions

Wilmington is home to several higher education institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. This ensures a steady inflow of young energy and intellect, and offers ample opportunities for lifelong learning and academic involvement.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

The region boasts a wide variety of outdoor activities. From the gardens at Airlie to the Cape Fear River, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of hiking, biking, and walking trails, as well as opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water sports.

Family-Friendly Environment

With its excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of family-oriented activities and events, Wilmington is a great place to raise a family. The city's numerous parks, recreational centers, and beaches make for a great family-friendly environment.

Cons of Living in Wilmington

Hot, Humid Summers

Wilmington experiences hot and humid summers. The heat, coupled with the high humidity levels, can be uncomfortable, especially for those used to living in cooler climates.

Higher Cost of Living

The cost of living in Wilmington is slightly higher than the national average. This can be seen in aspects like housing, groceries and health care services, putting a bit of a strain on your wallet.

Hurricane Risk

Wilmington is located in a region that's vulnerable to hurricanes. Residents need to be prepared for the possibility of these natural disasters, which can sometimes lead to evacuation or property damage.

Tourist Crowds

Being a popular tourist destination, Wilmington can get crowded, especially during the summer months. This can lead to crowded beaches, traffic congestion, and longer wait times at restaurants and attractions.

Limited Public Transportation

Public transportation in Wilmington is not as extensive or reliable as in larger cities. This can make it challenging for those without a car to get around, especially if their job or daily activities are spread across different parts of the city.

Modern day picture of Wilmington, NC highlighting pros and cons of living in Wilmington, NC

Is Wilmington a Good Place to Live?

Wilmington, NC is a great place to live because it offers the perfect balance of the cozy charm of a small town and the buzz of a big city with delightful beaches, a vibrant art scene, and mouth-watering southern comfort food. Set between Cape Fear river and the Atlantic ocean, its fertile marine and terrestrial ecosystems allow for delightful strolls in beautiful parks and gardens. It's the kind of place where you enjoy four distinct seasons, sunlight 213 days a year, and the southern coastal lifestyle.

What Is Wilmington Famous For?

Historic Downtown Wilmington

Wilmington's historic downtown district offers a charming exploration of the past. The area is studded with antebellum mansions, vintage streetcar lines, and a nearly two-mile-long riverwalk, which provides stunning views of Cape Fear River.

The USS North Carolina Battleship

One of Wilmington's most compelling attractions is the USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship moored on Cape Fear River. This military artifact serves as a memorial, showcasing life on-board during wartime with installations highlighting the crew's living quarters, gun turrets, and engine rooms.

A Vibrant Film and TV Production Scene

The Port City is fondly referred to as the "East Coast Hollywood" due to its long history with film and TV production. Wilmington has been a backdrop for numerous popular productions, including television series such as "Dawson's Creek" and "One Tree Hill", and films like "Iron Man 3".

Beautiful Beaches

Serving as a gateway to several stunning beaches, Wilmington offers an idyllic coastal experience. From Wrightsville Beach's surf-friendly waves to Carolina Beach's family-oriented vibe and Kure Beach's tranquil atmosphere, there's a patch of sand for everyone.

Capital building of Wilmington, NC in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Wilmington, NC is 0.5755% of assessed home value. This is comparatively lower than the US average property tax rate which is approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate for Wilmington, NC in 2023 is 7.00%, which slightly higher compared to the national median rate of 6.25%. This total rate includes both state and local taxes.

Income Tax

North Carolina follows a flat tax system where all earners pay the same rate of 5.25% as of 2023. This is at contrast with the national average which operates on a progressive tax system with rates ranging from 10% to 37% depending on income brackets.

Housing Market

Wilmington, NC exhibits a competitive housing market with a median home value of $297,053, higher than the national median. Its home appreciation rate recently notched at 13.6% compared to the US average of 6.1%, signifying a high growth potential for buyers. Renters, however, could face challenges as the average rent is approximately $1224, slightly above the national average. Wilmington's cost of living index stands at 95.5 compared to a US average of 100, indicating an affordable lifestyle for residents. Prospective residents should consider these factors in their decision-making process when contemplating a move to Wilmington.

Cost of Living

Wilmington, NC enjoys a slightly lower cost of living compared to the national average. While groceries and healthcare expenses trend around the average, housing costs are notably lower, making it more affordable than many US cities. However, compared to other North Carolina cities, Wilmington's cost of living is higher. But considering amenities such as beach accessibility, historical preserve, university presence, and budding arts scene, the costs could be justified. Despite these, it is advisable to cross-reference personal income and living expenses to assess suitability.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Wilmington, NC, exhibits a humid subtropical climate, ensuring warm, wet summers and mild winters. Average summer temperatures typically reach the mid-80s, while in winter they drop to the 40s. Known to be a coastal city, it's often punctuated with high levels of humidity, translating to abundant rainfall throughout the year, especially in summer and fall. Wilmington is also within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt and is frequently threatened by tropical storms and hurricanes. The city's vulnerability to severe weather events, such as damaging winds, heavy rain, and flooding, becomes manifest primarily during hurricane season from June through November. Despite these climatic challenges, Wilmington remains resilient, showcasing its captivating charm and vibrant scenery throughout the changing seasons.

Typical weather in Wilmington, NC

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Accommodation and Food Services

* Manufacturing

* Educational Services

Wilmington, NC has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1739, visible in its many historical landmarks and picturesque Downtown River District. Throughout the years, this enchanting city has seen waves of industrial shifts. Historically, Wilmington was known for its bustling shipping industry. But these days, a different set of sectors rule the job market. The city has witnessed exponential growth in the healthcare and social assistance sectors, contributing significantly to job creation and economic stability. Businesses in retail trade and accommodation and food services thrive here, and the city also hosts a vibrant manufacturing sector and a growing market for educational services.

If you are dreaming of your new life in this delightful city, it's important to familiarize yourself with Wilmington's job market info. For starters, the unemployment rate is below the national average, which serves as encouraging news for job seekers. While job opportunities are diverse in Wilmington, health and social assistance is the fastest-growing sector, followed closely by retail and food services. So, if you're a healthcare professional, retail guru or a culinary genius, you're in luck! But those aren't the only fields that thrive here. Manufacturing and education also have substantial footholds, offering plenty of job opportunities. From its delightful beaches to a promising job market, Wilmington makes a strong case for a dream destination to begin a new chapter of your life.

Traffic and Transportation

Get ready for a breezy ride in Wilmington, NC! The average commute time here sits at a comfy 18 minutes - less than half the national average. Nifty, isn't it? But that's not all! The town is also serviced by the reliable Wave Transit System - an army of buses and vans guaranteeing a smooth sail to your destination. And yes, they're wheelchair friendly! Fancy a flight? Wilmington International Airport, the 'ILM', is at your service! Whether you're jetting in, taking a solo trip or meeting up with a sky-high business client, ILM has you covered. So, say hello to Wilmington and come revolve in a world that revolves around YOU! The welcoming roads, the sky-splitting flights, the chugging buses - they're all pacing up, ready to add momentum to your dreams!

What is the traffic like in Wilmington, NC?

Best Neighborhoods in Wilmington

1. Carolina Heights

Welcoming you with an enchanting entry lined with majestic moss-draped oak trees, Carolina Heights already feels like home from the very first glance. Known for its historic homes and the charm of its past era, this neighborhood offers not just a place to live, but a rich history to enjoy. It also boasts several parks nearby, inviting you for peaceful strolls on sunny days. Carolina Heights is perfect for those who appreciate a mix of history, art and nature - and with access to locally-owned eateries and boutiques just a few blocks away at the Castle Street Arts & Antiques District, it truly offers the best of all worlds.

2. Wrightsville Beach

Who doesn't dream of having a beach in their backyard? Wrightsville Beach offers precisely that! For those who enjoy an active lifestyle with a dose of coastal relaxation, this seaside town is a paradise. It's home to great surf, terrific local seafood restaurants, and a bustling beachside community. The locals are friendly, the vibe is relaxed, and the sunrises are legendary. Living here means trading in your morning coffee for a sunrise surf or a walk along the beach. How does that sound?

3. Downtown

Pulse of the city? Definitely Downtown! Living here means being in the heart of Wilmington, and loving every bit of it. It offers a medley of experiences - from historic tours to theatres, fabulous waterfront dining experiences to vibrant night-life, not to mention the happening events year-round at Riverwalk. For those who like everything close at hand, Downtown's walkability is a massive plus. Don't forget to check out the famous farmer's market on weekends.

4. Landfall

Living in Landfall means you are choosing an upscale, secure and community-oriented neighborhood. What sets Landfall apart is its marvelous gated-community which sees features from golf-courses to country-clubs, walking trails, parks, and sports-venues. It also features unique architecture and beautifully maintained gardens. Expect friendly neighbors, frequent community events, and a relaxing and serene setting all within easy reach of the city.

5. Mayfaire

Mayfaire is a trendy area that perfectly balances residential tranquility with commercial buzz. The neighborhood offers modern townhomes and family houses, while the town center is packed with everything from shopping and fitness studios to top-rated restaurants, a cinema, and even a concert venue. It also puts you minutes away from Wrightsville Beach. Living in Mayfaire is all about convenience, modernity, and upscale leisure activities.

Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a lover of the city pulse, or a beach bum, Wilmington, NC offers unique neighborhoods to appeal to your style. After all, the best neighborhood is one that feels like home, and Wilmington's diversity ensures there's a great fit for everyone. So pack up, and we can't wait to say, "Welcome to your new Wilmington neighborhood!"

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Things to Do

Welcome to Wilmington, NC aka Hollywood East, known for its charming downtown riverfront and tranquility-loving beach towns. With its rich history, scenic beaches, and diverse culinary scene, Wilmington is a gem waiting to be discovered. Here is a list of top 7 attractions and activities that both newcomers and seasoned Wilmington residents can thoroughly enjoy!

1. Experience The World War II history in USS North Carolina

Pay a visit to the USS North Carolina, a decommissioned battleship that played a significant role in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. It's now a floating museum where you can delve into the onboard life of the sailors and marines during wartime. The ship is docked permanently across the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington.

2. Wander through the Historic Downtown

Step back in time by strolling through the Historic Downtown area. The district boasts well-preserved 19th-century architecture and is home to boutiques, antiques, and a variety of dining options. Art lovers can venture into the many galleries sprinkled through the area and history buffs can enjoy numerous significant landmarks.

3. Explore the Airlie Gardens

Unleash your inner nature enthusiast in the lush 67-acres of Airlie Gardens. A stroll here invites you to dazzling seasonal color changes, a whimsical Butterfly House, and a massive 468-year-old live oak known as the Airlie Oak.

4. Savor the Local Culinary Scene

Among Wilmington's primary attractions is its extensive culinary scene, ranging from the freshest seafood to innovative Southern cuisine. Don't miss the historic Salt Works II for the best local breakfast offerings and hit up the Dock Street Oyster Bar for their seafood specialties.

5. Visit the Oldest Peanut Plantation - Poplar Grove

A little-known fact about Wilmington is that it houses one of the last remaining Peanut Plantations in North Carolina. Poplar Grove was a major peanut producer till 1971 and is now a fascinating heritage site where you can learn about historical agriculture and plantation life.

6. Dive into Diver Down Underwater Treasures

Diver Down Underwater Treasures isn't widely known to most, but this hidden gem is worth the visit. It provides an intriguing mix of shipwreck artifacts, shells, and unique ocean-related items. It's a treasure trove that will leave you fascinated, especially if you're fond of the sea.

7. Swing by Screen Gems Studios

As one of the largest motion picture facilities in the U.S, Screen Gems Studios is responsible for various well-known television shows and films. While they don't offer regular tours, they do arrange for special group visits now and then. So, keep an eye out; you might get a behind-the-scenes look into the magic of movie making!

There you have it - seven fantastic experiences awaiting you in Wilmington, NC. From history and nature to food and the arts, there's something for everyone in this charming southern city. So soak it up, savor it bite by bite, and most importantly, let Wilmington welcome you home!

Things to do in Wilmington, NC?

Find Movers for Your Wilmington Relocation

As you plan your move to the charm-filled port city of Wilmington, let Great Guys Moving simplify your transition. Capitalize on our cultivated relationships with the most reputable, licensed, and insured moving providers in the industry. Surrender the stress of finding a reliable mover, instead, let us connect you with top-notch services that offer quality and affordability. Define the basics of your move and we link you with movers ready to serve your specific needs. Make the most important step of your relocation seamless today by requesting your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving.

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